Paul Kent: Sydney Roosters deny plan to poach Cameron Munster but rivals already reacting

Sometimes the NRL rumour mill seems to spin out of control but the Roosters are the one club that keep making the impossible possible, writes PAUL KENT.

Any thought that Nick Politis is a Godfather-like figure, similar enough to the cinematic namesake that he would leave a horse’s head in an enemy’s bed, is a sad injustice to Politis.

Those who know him know he would never be so forgiving.

His thirst for winning is large enough to put an entire competition in a spin.

The Roosters will do all it takes to succeed, and the occasional loose horse head is a minor cost.

The Rabbitohs howl whenever the Roosters outsmart them and land a Rabbitohs junior.

The salary sombrero has become a standard joke, popular among league fans who don’t support the Roosters, post-match footy shows and comedy clubs right along the eastern seaboard.

And the Roosters make no apologies.

I like how they enjoy winning and I like how they enjoy the angst it creates in their rivals.

Nothing is impossible, and damn the critics.

The latest whispers labouring around the game are that Politis and his Roosters are privately plotting to create room in the salary cap to have a solid go at signing Cameron Munster to the club.

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No one should ever underestimate the ability of Sydney Roosters Chairman Nick Politis to get things done, writes Paul Kent. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
No one should ever underestimate the ability of Sydney Roosters Chairman Nick Politis to get things done, writes Paul Kent. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

As news goes, this would be up there with other crazy ideas like the one that went around saying Sonny Bill Williams might return from playing rugby in France to play for them.

Which he did, of course.

Twice.

It requires only a short memory to recall the seismic shift that happened when the Roosters, seemingly from nowhere, announced the signing of Cooper Cronk to the club in 2018.

The Roosters already had State of Origin half Mitch Pearce in the No.7 jersey, so it caught everybody off-guard.

Deep within, though, there was a belief Pearce was not quite up to delivering their next premiership and so the Roosters quietly plotted to land Cronk, who had suddenly become available because it turned out he was the loving kind and had declared his intention to leave Melbourne and all their success to relocate to Sydney and be closer to his bride.

Could the Roosters be plotting a shock play for star five-eighth Cameron Munster? Picture: Getty Images.
Could the Roosters be plotting a shock play for star five-eighth Cameron Munster? Picture: Getty Images.

Soon after, the Roosters signed young Kyle Flanagan as the heir to Cronk’s jersey but within a year coach Trent Robinson had decided he was not the player for them so they were quietly able to manage Flanagan out of the club and they pounced on Sam Walker.

In all, it shows nothing is beyond them in their pursuit to be No.1.

And with the Roosters halves mostly stuttering through the first nine rounds, the speculation carries more weight.

This would not be a small feat but, as most will admit, it is probably a trade only the Roosters could achieve.

Even the Storm is having trouble, having adjusted his contract from the initial two-year offer they lowballed him with.

A third year has been added and Munster is waiting to see if it adds up financially to make the offer competitive in the market, the Storm yet to finalise the deal.

The Roosters shocked everyone when they landed Cooper Cronk in 2018, while Mitchell Pearce was still on their roster. Picture. Phil Hillyard
The Roosters shocked everyone when they landed Cooper Cronk in 2018, while Mitchell Pearce was still on their roster. Picture. Phil Hillyard

It is well known already that Munster is set to become the highest paid player in the game as the Dolphins move to save face and land the marquee player the club promised at its formation.

The speculation was enough the Dolphins have heard about it and subtly adjusted their focus from signing Munster to getting Luke Keary, believing he was available.

None of this speculation is unusual for those who follow the game closely enough, for which the posse is large and loud.

There are always whispers around the game.

Another, which comes with some heat, is that the Panthers duo Stephen Crichton and Brian To’o are on the verge of signing with the Dolphins with Penrith stopping the blood flow by bringing Matt Burton back to the club.

The source of this tremendous information, codenamed The Pig, declared it rolled gold information yet just a cursory investigation revealed Burton remains contracted to the Bulldogs for next season and the option for the third season is in his favour.

There is little chance the Dogs will release him.

The NRL’s crazy rumour mill has suggested the Dolphins are interested in poaching Brian To’o and Stephen Crichton from the Panthers. Picture: Tim Hunter.
The NRL’s crazy rumour mill has suggested the Dolphins are interested in poaching Brian To’o and Stephen Crichton from the Panthers. Picture: Tim Hunter.
While Bulldogs star recruit Matt Burton has been rumoured for a move back to Penrith. Picture: Getty Images.
While Bulldogs star recruit Matt Burton has been rumoured for a move back to Penrith. Picture: Getty Images.

Only the hotted up transfer market makes all this a discussion nowadays. Player trades are the game’s new economy, driven by SuperCoach and the fans’ thirst for improvement.

How much this has contributed to speculation about Munster landing at the Roosters is unknown.

Certainly Munster’s manager, Braith Anasta, declares not a phone call has been received or made between him and the Roosters.

Robinson could not deny it strongly enough yesterday.

“Geez,” Robinson said. “That couldn’t be further from the truth.

“One hundred per cent, that hasn’t been uttered in our joint at all.”

As for Politis, he was unavailable for comment.

The Godfather was flying home from Greece, all the horses safe for another day.